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Moleskine Crochet Fix

Three half-flowers in antique gold and silver colors attached to spine of large Molestine crochet notebook.

I have a pack of three large Moleskine notebooks. They started out identical and very plain. I use two of them for crochet work. How to distinguish them all from each other? Hmm.

Moleskine + crochet go together so nicely. I see folks using the notebooks for crochet journaling, and crocheting covers for them. They’re great for me too except in two ways.

I can’t wait to show you my new crochet solution. The spine of my crochet notebook now sports a title in a universal language.

Pre-Crochet Prep

Moleskine crochet notebook completed: 3 crocheted half-flowers sewn to the binding and the cover is a protective coating.

I mention this because I needed to try a paper-coating idea before adding the crochet to its spine. This is why its cover color ends up differing from the other two in this image.

First, about the cover. It’s plain cardstock. (My old design notebook was a fat spiral-bound graph paper pad with a durable plastic cover.) I like this slim one better, although its rather absorbent cover retains every scuff and stain. Its medium gray color is also fading.

First, I lightly spray-painted it with fine silver glitter. Then I used a fat metallic silver paint marker to add random speckles of different sizes, and a border. These cover up spots and marks.

Unfortunately, even though it’s spray paint, the glitter rubbed off. After I took the next photo below, I lightly sprayed a few layers of glossy sealer on it. It works on the glitter and adds a durable feel to the cover. It also darkened and changed the gray color of the paper, even more than the spray paint did.

Moleskine crochet hook fit: find the steel hook size that fits in the seam stitch without stretching it.
This steel crochet hook is very small, about 1.10 mm. A larger one would be hard to insert without fraying or stretching the thread. I don’t want to weaken the binding!
You can also see how the upper notebook has faded and yellowed a bit compared to the unused one under it.

The Crochet Fix

Here’s what I said when I started swatching the first of these three flower pieces:

The 3 half-flowers in pewter and antique gold colors before sewing Molestine crochet notebook seam

I’m trying out a tall-stitch flower motif but as an edging, and alternating an old gold color with an old silver color of thread I bought in Paris to see what happens with a glass of wine, to then see if this is the way I want to spruce up a Moleskine notebook. If it is, I shall blog it.

I’m wondering if this Scheepjes Maxi Sweet Treat crochet thread might satisfy my longing for the discontinued Opera thread 🤔

I adapted these flower pieces from flowery motif patterns in old Duplet magazines in my Tall Stitch Virtuosity class prep pile. The color changes made it easy to cover yarn ends, so weaving ends wasn’t an issue.

The second of the three notebooks is for slip stitch teaching thoughts. It will be fun to crochet a spine trim for it with slip stitches.

Crocheting Into Non-Crochet

I’ve blogged before about crocheting along the edge of a greeting card, a t-shirt, and foam sheets. (Crocheting a wide border onto a plastic-coated tablecloth is an adventure I thought I blogged; link goes to its Ravelry page.) I’ve even crocheted pages of a book together. I don’t recall ever wanting to stick a crochet hook into the saddle-stitch binding of a simple notebook before.

My Plans Changed as I Swatched

I figured I’d pick a half-flower I liked and then create a whole repeating strip of it to form an edging. Instead, my Moleskine crochet ended up being 3 flower fragments that I attached one by one. I so love it.

The other thing I assumed was that I’d crochet right onto the notebook binding. This was the original inspiration! I worried more and more about weakening the binding string. Ultimately, I fastened off the third flower piece with a very long yarn end. I used this to sew each crocheted piece to the binding with a sewing needle and simple overhand stitches.

Moleskine’s no-frills design is easy to find in other brands too. I love Moleskine’s rounded corners and the paper quality.

I’m not sure this Moleskine crochet idea would have occurred to me if it weren’t Day 27 of the Great Quarantine! Maybe it would have, but would I have followed through on it? Or blogged about it?

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Vashti’s Crochet Archives Online

four panels of young kitten nuzzling and napping on my crocheted flowers, from my September 2008 crochet archives.

“Crochet Archives”?

Four 2008 photos from my crochet archives: the crochet is a cardigan in Tunisian crochet strips. An unpublished pattern; the yarn is unusual and discontinued (a felted spaghetti-like texture due to the lycra), but you can see it complete and modeled on its project page in Ravelry. The flower became the Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front’s Flower of Power Ring!

In the latest newsletter (#84 Crochet Ruffles Old and New) I briefly mentioned upcoming posts (and videos! Yay soon!). Here’s why: I’ve built up extensive crochet archives over thirteen years of professional crocheting. For example, my Flickr albums alone contain 1.5 million crochet photos.

The most important reason is that I’ll be able to digitize and tag the paper-based bits I’ve filed. This is so important for easy retrieval. It’s also protective: I live at sea level in a hurricane zone. In between hurricanes, it gives me easy posting ideas for this blog (& social media places) that could help or inspire other crocheters.

My crochet friend Julie M. inspired me to take stock of it all when she saw all the materials I’d brought to a class and asked, “How do you organize all your swatches and files?!” Some of it is digital and the rest is stored in my house. Is it working for me?

The ultimate test of my filing system is how quickly and easily I can retrieve everything I need for a new newsletter topic, a crochet class topic to develop, or a call for design proposals to answer. All of these have themes that cut across several kinds of materials and details. Tags work the best for this, and tagging is a digital thing. So the more my crochet archives are digitized and tagged, the better. (Safer from hurricanes too.)

Shared Crochet Archives: Places

Want to follow along with my crochet archive sharing? I’ve test-posted two other things so far: both to Twitter first, then to Pinterest and Facebook, although I may shift how/where/when these get posted. As always, updates on anything Designing Vashti will appear in the right-hand column of my newsletters, and here in this blog.

The two other test-posts are crochet tips with associated images. My goal is that they are worth liking, saving, and sharing by many crocheters. These illustrated tips will likely fall into “tracks”, such as Tips for Beginners posted on “Newbie Tuesday” (catchy!–wish I’d invented it), Skill Refiners (tips for Intermediate or Experienced skill levels), and “Crochet Pro Tips” (more for aspiring crochet designers etc.).

I also have quotations from fashion designers, artists, writers who inspire me with their wisdom and approach to their work. I think of them as my mentors and might post some of these bits to my Tumblr account.

Today’s post above is not a crochet tip, just pure charm. Maybe on Fridays?, or maybe as a Sunday/Monday boost. I love when other crocheters and knitters post pure eye candy: stitches close up in fibers and colors that make me want to pick up my hook. It’s instantly replenishing, as if I’ve just emerged from a spa!